[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 102 (Thursday, May 26, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30681-30688]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-13098]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With 
Disabilities--National Assessment Center

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information

    Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services and 
Results for Children with Disabilities--National Assessment Center.
    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2011.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.326G.

DATES: Applications Available: May 26, 2011.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 11, 2011.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 8, 2011.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with 
Disabilities program is to promote academic achievement and to improve 
results for children with disabilities by providing technical 
assistance (TA), supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating 
useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by 
scientifically based research.

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    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority 
is from allowable activities specified in the statute or otherwise 
authorized in the statute (see sections 663 and 681(d) of the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 
1481(d)).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2011 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards based on the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:

Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services and Results 
for Children With Disabilities--National Assessment Center

Background

    Federal and State laws over the past two decades have mandated the 
use of rigorous assessments aligned to academic content standards to 
improve accountability and ensure that students are acquiring the 
skills they need for success. Some laws and policies (e.g., those 
involving alternate assessments, assessment accommodations, and 
disaggregated reporting of assessment data by subgroups) are intended 
to ensure that all students, including students with disabilities, 
participate in assessments and are included in accountability systems.
    As a result of States' efforts in implementing Federal and State 
laws in this area, there are multiple ways for students with 
disabilities to participate in State assessments--general assessments, 
general assessments with accommodations, and alternate assessments that 
are based on alternate academic achievement standards, modified 
academic achievement standards, or grade-level academic achievement 
standards. Further, evidence suggests that: Instruction for students 
with disabilities is increasingly aligned with State academic content 
standards; assessment data are increasingly used to make educational 
decisions for these students; and participating in State assessments 
and being included in accountability systems may have positive effects 
on educational results for students with disabilities (National Council 
on Disability, 2008; Towles-Reeves, Kleinert, & Muhomba, 2009).
    Despite the progress States have made in including students with 
disabilities in assessments and accountability systems, States continue 
to face challenges with issues such as integrating data from dissimilar 
tests (regular, accommodated, and alternate) into a single 
accountability system, and developing consistent State policies on 
assessment accommodations (Eckes & Swando, 2009; Center for Education 
Policy, 2009). In addition, the assessment landscape is changing as 
States adopt common, college- and career-ready academic content 
standards and develop new, valid, more instructionally useful and 
inclusive assessments aligned to these standards. The U.S. Department 
of Education has supported these efforts through programs such as the 
Race to the Top Assessment (RTTA) program, the State Assessments 
program, and the General Supervision Enhancement Grants-Alternate 
Academic Achievement Standards program (GSEG). However, developing and 
implementing new forms of assessments are challenging and time-
consuming processes. For example, assessments developed under the RTTA 
program are required to be fully implemented statewide in consortia 
States no later than the 2014-2015 school year. During the next several 
years while these new large-scale assessments are being developed and 
implemented, States will need continued support to ensure that all 
students, including those with disabilities, are included in current 
assessments. Once the RTTA assessments are developed, States may need 
support in implementing them to ensure that all students, except for 
students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who are 
eligible to participate in alternate assessments based on alternate 
academic achievement standards in accordance with 34 CFR 200.6(a)(2), 
participate in these assessments (U.S. Department of Education, 2010).
    Currently, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funds 
the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) at the University of 
Minnesota to address national, State, and local assessment issues 
related to students with disabilities. NCEO also assists OSEP by 
analyzing State assessment data submitted in the State Performance 
Plan/Annual Performance Reports (SPP/APR) required under IDEA. The 
priority established in this notice will support a new center to 
continue, update, and expand on NCEO's work by supporting States in the 
implementation of appropriate, high-quality assessments for students 
with disabilities, as well as by working with States to explore 
emerging issues such as growth models, universal design, and 
technology-based assessments for students with disabilities. In 
addition, if the center funded under this priority receives the two-
year extension described under the heading ``Extending the Project for 
a Fourth and Fifth Year'' in this notice, it will assist States, as 
needed, in implementing the RTTA assessments to ensure that students 
with disabilities are included in the assessments and receive 
accommodations, as appropriate, and that assessment data are used to 
improve instruction and accountability for students with disabilities.

Priority

    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to 
support the establishment and operation of a National Assessment Center 
(Center) that will: (1) Provide technical assistance to States 
regarding the inclusion of students with disabilities in assessments 
and State accountability systems; (2) develop and implement leadership 
activities (e.g., supporting communities of practice and convening 
national forums) to ensure that students with disabilities are included 
in and benefit from emerging approaches to assessment; (3) continue and 
update NCEO's work in conducting analyses of State SPP/APR assessment 
data; (4) collect, analyze, synthesize, and disseminate relevant 
information related to the assessment of students with disabilities; 
and (5) serve as a national resource for policymakers, administrators, 
teachers, advocates, parents, and the RTTA and GSEG consortia funded by 
the Department on the assessment of students with disabilities.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this 
priority. Any project funded under this absolute priority also must 
meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the 
priority.
    Application Requirements. An applicant must include in its 
application--
    (a) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, 
activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project. A logic 
model communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides 
a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the 
project;

    Note: The following Web sites provide more information on logic 
models: http://www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and http://www.tadnet.org/model_and_performance.

    (b) A plan to implement the activities described in the Project 
Activities section of this priority;

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    (c) A plan, linked to the proposed project's logic model, for a 
formative evaluation of the proposed project's activities. The plan 
must describe how the formative evaluation will use clear performance 
objectives to ensure continuous improvement in the operation of the 
proposed project, including objective measures of progress in 
implementing the project and ensuring the quality of products and 
services;
    (d) A budget for a summative evaluation to be conducted by an 
independent third party;
    (e) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A one-day kick-off meeting to be held in Washington, DC, within 
four weeks after receipt of the award, and an annual planning meeting 
held in Washington, DC, with the OSEP Project Officer during each 
subsequent year of the project period.
    (2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project period.
    (3) A minimum of six two-day trips annually to attend Department 
briefings, Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as 
approved by OSEP; and
    (f) A line item in the proposed budget for an annual set-aside of 
five percent of the grant amount to support emerging needs that are 
consistent with the proposed project's activities, as those needs are 
identified in consultation with OSEP, and in coordination and 
collaboration with other related projects funded by the Department.

    Note: With approval from the OSEP Project Officer, the Center 
must reallocate any remaining funds from this annual set-aside no 
later than the end of the third quarter of each budget period.

    (g) In situations in which the applicant is also a grantee or 
subcontractor in the RTTA or GSEG programs, an assurance that the 
technical assistance the Center provides will not give undue favor or 
support to any particular project or activity in the RTTA or GSEG 
programs and will instead be based on a thorough review of the field 
and up-to-date research.
    Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, the 
Center, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:
    Knowledge Development Activities.
    (a) Collect, analyze, synthesize, and disseminate relevant 
information regarding the assessment of students with disabilities, 
including on topics such as assessment accommodations, alternate 
assessments, formative assessments, universal design of assessments, 
technology-based assessments, assessing English learners with 
disabilities, methods for analyzing and reporting assessment data that 
include students with disabilities, implications of and best practices 
in using assessments aligned with common college- and career-ready 
academic content standards for students with disabilities, application 
of growth models in assessment programs that include students with 
disabilities, uses of assessment data that include students with 
disabilities to inform instructional programs, and the inclusion of 
students with disabilities in accountability systems. The type of 
information collected, analyzed, synthesized, and disseminated under 
this paragraph must include: Research findings, Federal and State 
policies, assessment data (e.g., data posted on State Web sites or 
submitted to the Department), and other relevant resources. 
Presentation of research findings must include information on the 
strength of the research evidence, to the degree that the strength of 
evidence can be feasibly and validly determined.
    (b) Conduct surveys to assess State needs and track State 
activities and trends related to students with disabilities and 
assessments, including as appropriate any of the topics listed in 
paragraph (a) of the Knowledge Development Activities section of the 
priority.
    Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities.
    (a) Provide technical assistance to States regarding the inclusion 
of students with disabilities in assessments and accountability 
systems.
    (b) Provide technical assistance, as needed, to States regarding 
the implementation of large-scale assessments developed by the RTTA and 
GSEG consortia funded by the Department. The delivery of this technical 
assistance may be contingent on the Center receiving the two-year 
extension discussed under the heading ``Extending the Project for a 
Fourth and Fifth Year'' in this notice.
    (c) Provide technical assistance to States that include student 
performance on assessments as one of the factors they use to determine 
if a local educational agency (LEA):
    (1) Meets the requirements and purposes of part B of IDEA;
    (2) Needs assistance in implementing the requirements of part B of 
IDEA;
    (3) Needs intervention in implementing the requirements of part B 
of IDEA; or
    (4) Needs substantial intervention in implementing the requirements 
of part B of IDEA.
    (d) Recruit and coordinate a cadre of experts that the Center will 
use to provide TA to States to assist them in--
    (1) Including students with disabilities in rigorous, high-quality 
assessments that are aligned to academic content standards, including 
common college- and career-ready academic content standards; and
    (2) Using assessment results in instructional decision-making to 
improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities.
    (e) Maintain a Web site that meets government or industry-
recognized standards for accessibility and that links to the Web site 
operated by the OSEP-funded Technical Assistance Coordination Center 
(TACC).
    (f) Prepare and disseminate reports, documents, and other materials 
for specific audiences (as requested by OSEP) including policymakers, 
administrators, teachers, advocates, and parents on topics related to--
    (1) Including students with disabilities in rigorous, high-quality 
assessments that are aligned to academic content standards, including 
common college- and career-ready standards; and
    (2) Using assessment results in instructional decision-making to 
improve teaching and learning for students with disabilities.
    In consultation with the OSEP Project Officer and the advisory 
committee established in accordance with paragraph (b) of the 
Leadership and Coordination Activities section of this priority, the 
Center must make selected reports, documents, and other materials 
available for parents in both English and Spanish.
    (g) Use technological tools to increase the reach and impact of the 
Center's work.
    Leadership and Coordination Activities.
    (a) Compile and share data, as directed by OSEP, on States' APRs 
and updated SPPs for part B Indicator 3 ``Assessment'' by:
    (1) Reviewing relevant sections of each State's APR and updated SPP 
and summarizing the data on Part B Indicator 3 ``Assessment;''
    (2) Developing a summary report for this indicator that includes 
information about States' progress in meeting targets for the 
indicator, as well as any revisions made to States' monitoring and data 
systems, measurement systems, or improvement strategies; and
    (3) Providing these summary reports to OSEP in a timely manner and 
participating in OSEP-requested teleconferences to discuss the findings 
of the summary reports.

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    (b) Establish and maintain an advisory committee to review the 
activities and outcomes of the Center and provide programmatic support 
and advice throughout the project period. At a minimum, the advisory 
committee must meet on an annual basis in Washington, DC and include 
persons with expertise in assessment, the education of students with 
disabilities, and educational policy. The advisory committee also must 
include representation from State educational agencies (SEAs), LEAs, 
individuals with disabilities, parents, testing companies, and other 
relevant stakeholder groups. The Center must submit the names of 
proposed members of the advisory committee to OSEP for approval within 
eight weeks after receipt of the award.
    (c) Form partnerships with other technical assistance and 
dissemination projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education 
(e.g., the Comprehensive Centers, the Equity Assistance Centers, the 
Regional Educational Laboratories, the Regional Resource Centers, the 
Data Accountability Center, and the Early Childhood Outcomes Center), 
professional and advocacy organizations (e.g., National Association of 
State Directors of Special Education, Learning Disabilities Association 
of America, Association of Test Publishers), and other entities (e.g., 
research groups and academic institutions), to maximize efficiency and 
carry out leadership activities such as joint conferences, the 
coordination of TA services, and the planning and carrying out of TA 
meetings and activities, as appropriate.
    (d) Support the RTTA and GSEG consortia by sharing products, 
guidance, analyses, tools, and research-based information related to 
students with disabilities (including information on the strength of 
available research evidence).
    (e) Participate in, organize, or facilitate communities of practice 
that align with the needs of the project's target audience. Communities 
of practice should align with the project's objectives to support 
discussions and collaboration among key stakeholders. The following Web 
site provides more information on communities of practice: http://tadnet.org/communities.
    (f) Prior to developing any new product, submit a proposal for the 
product to the TACC database for the OSEP Project Officer's approval. 
All new products should be developed consistent with the product 
definition and guidelines posted on the TACC Web site: http://www.tadnet.org/home?format=html.
    (g) Contribute, on an ongoing basis, updated information on the 
Center's approved and finalized products and services to a database at 
TACC.
    (h) Coordinate with the National Dissemination Center for 
Individuals with Disabilities to develop an efficient and high-quality 
dissemination strategy that reaches broad audiences. The Center must 
report to the OSEP Project Officer the outcomes of these coordination 
efforts.
    (i) Maintain ongoing communication with the OSEP Project Officer 
through monthly phone conversations and e-mail communication.

Extending the Project for a Fourth and Fifth Year

    The Secretary may extend the Center for up to two additional years 
beyond its original project period of 36 months if a grantee is 
achieving the intended outcomes of the grant, shows improvement against 
baseline measures on performance indicators, and is making a positive 
contribution to the inclusion of students with disabilities in State 
and local assessments and accountability systems.

References

Center for Education Policy. (2009). Has Progress Been Made in 
Raising Achievement for Students with Disabilities? Washington, DC: 
Center for Education Policy.
Eckes, S.E. & Swando, J. (2009). Special education subgroups under 
NCLB: Issues to consider. Teachers College Record, 111, 2479-2504.
National Council on Disability. (2008). The No Child Left Behind Act 
and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: A Progress 
Report. Washington, DC: National Council on Disability.
Towles-Reeves, E., Kleinert, H., & Muhomba, M. (2009). Alternate 
assessment: Have we learned anything new? Exceptional Children, 75, 
233-252.
U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Overview Information; Race to 
the Top Fund Assessment Program; Notice Inviting Applications for 
New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. Federal Register, 75(68), 
April 9, 2010, 18171-18185.

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested 
parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities and 
requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment 
requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except Federally recognized Indian Tribes.


    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions 
of higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1,000,000 Contingent upon the 
availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make 
additional awards in FY 2012 from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition.
    Maximum Awards: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $1,000,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. 
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in 
the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

    Note:  The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: Up to 36 months with an optional additional 24 
months based on performance.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs; LEAs, including public charter 
schools that are considered LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public 
agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely 
associated States; Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations; and for-
profit organizations.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: General Requirements--(a) The projects funded under this 
competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in 
employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of 
IDEA).
    (b) Applicants and grant recipients funded under this competition 
must involve individuals with disabilities or parents of individuals 
with disabilities ages birth through 26 in planning, implementing, and 
evaluating the projects (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet, from the Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs), or from the program office.

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    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: 
http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html.
    To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: 
ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 
22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. Fax: (703) 605-6794. If 
you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, toll 
free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: http://www.EDPubs.gov or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to 
identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.326G.
    To obtain a copy from the program office, contact the person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the 
application narrative to the equivalent of no more than 70 pages, using 
the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Text in charts, 
tables, figures, and graphs in the application narrative may be single 
spaced and will count toward the page limit.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, 
the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part 
IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the 
resumes, the bibliography, the references, or the letters of support. 
However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative 
section (Part III).
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit or if 
you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: May 26, 2011.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 11, 2011.
    Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site, or in paper format by 
mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates and times) 
about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format 
by mail or hand delivery, please refer to section IV. 7. Other 
Submission Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 8, 2011.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under 
Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this 
competition.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined in the 
Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/section910/Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf).
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition may be submitted electronically or in paper format by 
mail or hand delivery.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    We are participating as a partner in the Governmentwide Grants.gov 
Apply site. The National Assessment Center competition, CFDA number 
84.326G, is included in this project. We request your participation in 
Grants.gov.
    If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must 
use the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.Grants.gov. 
Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the 
application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit 
your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant 
application to us.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the National 
Assessment Center competition at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search 
for the downloadable application package

[[Page 30686]]

for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's 
alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.326, not 84.326G).
    Please note the following:
     Your participation in Grants.gov is voluntary.
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at http://www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you submit your application in paper format.
     If you submit your application electronically, you must 
submit all documents electronically, including all information you 
typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal 
Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental 
Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs 
(ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
     If you submit your application electronically, you must 
upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your 
application as files in a .PDF (Portable Document) format only. If you 
upload a file type other than a .PDF or submit a password-protected 
file, we will not review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

    Note:  The extensions to which we refer in this section apply 
only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the 
Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed 
to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before 
the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem 
you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you submit your application in paper format by mail (through the 
U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier), you must mail the 
original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.326G), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated 
postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your 
local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, 
you (or a courier service) must deliver the original and two copies of 
your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, 
to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of 
Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 
84.326G), 550 12th

[[Page 30687]]

Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-
4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you 
mail or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by 
the Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including 
suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are 
submitting your application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a 
notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not 
receive this notification within 15 business days from the 
application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of 
Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors:
    In the past, the Department has had difficulty finding peer 
reviewers for certain competitions because so many individuals who are 
eligible to serve as peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The 
Standing Panel requirements under IDEA also have placed additional 
constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department 
has determined that, for some discretionary grant competitions, 
applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and 
selected for funding within the specific groups. This procedure will 
make it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers by ensuring 
that greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as 
reviewers for any particular group of applicants will not have 
conflicts of interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, 
and fairness of the review process, while permitting panel members to 
review applications under discretionary grant competitions for which 
they also have submitted applications. However, if the Department 
decides to select an equal number of applications in each group for 
funding, this may result in different cut-off points for fundable 
applications in each group.
    4. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is 
not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; 
has a financial or other management system that does not meet the 
standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of 
performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed 
to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and 
quality of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve 
Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program. These 
measures focus on the extent to which projects provide high-quality 
products and services, the relevance of project products and services 
to educational and early intervention policy and practice, and the use 
of products and services to improve educational and early intervention 
policy and practice.
    Grantees will be required to report information on their project's 
performance in annual reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a 
grantee has made ``substantial progress toward meeting the objectives 
in its approved application.'' This consideration includes the review 
of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes 
in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds 
in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Egnor, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4054, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7334.
    If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, 
at 1-800-877-8339.

[[Page 30688]]

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by 
contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD, call the FRS, 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, 
as well as all other documents of this Department published in the 
Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: http://www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: May 20, 2011.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2011-13098 Filed 5-25-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P